From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Board of Pensions Clarifies News Reports of Hearings

Date 04 May 1996 20:32:34


95448  Board of Pensions Clarifies News Reports of Hearings 
                      by Jerry L. Van Marter 
PHILADELPHIA--The Board of Pensions has issued a clarification regarding 
published reports, including one by the Presbyterian News Service (PNS), 
that the board docketed time for public comments on its revised "Relief of 
Conscience" program for major medical plan members and church employers who 
are opposed to abortion. 
     PNS reporter Julian Shipp accurately quoted pension board chair Eugene 
Sibery as saying that the board scheduled time at its October meeting to 
hear public comments on the revised policy.  "In fact," wrote Board of 
Pensions corporate secretary George T. Adams on Dec. 7, "additional time 
was docketed for the Board's discussion of the [Relief of Conscience] Task 
Group's proposal, but not necessarily for public comment." 
     Adams outlined the process by which the task force and then the board 
revised the relief policy. That process included two conferences during 
1995 and an invitation to interested persons or groups to submit written 
responses to the proposal.  It was the written accounts of the conferences 
plus the written responses that the board reviewed and discussed prior to 
its vote on the revised policy. 
     "All interested parties were informed of the board meeting in 
advance," Adams wrote.  "The Board of Pensions follows the open meetings 
policies of the General Assembly." 
     The new Relief of Conscience policy goes into effect Jan. 1, 1996. 
"The Board believes this new practice further insulates the funds of those 
employing organizations and churches who for reasons of conscience object 
to medical payment of abortion," Adams concluded.  

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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